The history of Prentiss County found in its property records is now more accessible than ever thanks to a recently completed project at the Chancery Clerk’s office.
Chancery Clerk David “Bubba” Pounds said they’ve finished indexing scanned images of warranty deeds going back to 1929. The completion of the indexing work means all the deeds from present back to that date can be searched and accessed via computers in the clerk’s office without the need to physically search through deed books to locate the needed records.
Pounds explained around five years ago they had all deed books scanned to create a backup, but the images of the deeds were not indexed so they weren’t searchable or easily accessible. His office staff has spent countless hours inputting data to create the computerized index so the deeds can now be searched electronically.
“This is the largest batch of indexing that we have been able to complete to date. I am proud to say that it also makes our county one of the top counties in the state when it comes to ease of access to land records. These records protect most families most valuable assets, their home and land, and the protection of these records is of the utmost importance and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously. The completion of this project makes it easier on staff and title searchers, and will reduce the cost of maintaining the old deed books making the office more efficient,” he said.
In the course of working on the deeds, Pounds also began digitizing the old copies of the Banner-Independent maintained by his office. He said the newspaper’s old editions contain invaluable history and information on the county and he views preserving and making them accessible as a public service to those who may need to research family and other parts of the county’s history.
“Many people don’t know about these books and they are one of the best kept secrets in the courthouse. We have copies all the way back to the sixties, and also have a few recent years of the Baldwyn News. I encourage anyone to come view these books. We started with the two books that were in the worst condition and plan to work backwards from there. The 1964 and 1966 Banners can be viewed by going to www.prentisscounty.org and accessing the Chancery Clerk’s page. From there you will see a tab titled The Banner Independent Archives,” he said.
Pounds said he’s extremely grateful to his staff and to the board of supervisors for their support of the work.
“This was an exciting project for me and the staff of the office as it makes the history of our county easily accessible to the public to view for free. Neither of these projects would have been possible without the support of the Board of Supervisors and the hard work of the staff at the Chancery Clerk’s office. I want to thank the board for their support and the staff for their hard work in scanning these records. Our goal is to continue backing these records up and making it easier to access and search them,” he said.